May 8
2005



Cpl. Dustin A. Derga, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 9 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Cpl. Dustin A. Derga, 24, of Columbus, Ohio, died May 8 as the result of enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ubaydi, Iraq. He assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25 th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.    Derga’s company is based Columbus, Ohio.  As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).


Lance Cpl. Lawrence R. Philippon, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 9 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Lawrence R. Philippon, 22, of Hartford, Conn., died May 8 from enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Al Qa’im, Iraq.  He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

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Hartford Courant -- WEST HARTFORD -- May 10, 2005 ~~ U.S Marine Lance Cpl. Larry Philippon was killed in Iraq this weekend while on a tour of duty the 22-year-old had begged his commanders to grant him. The news of the Marine's death reached his family on Mother's Day, the same day his parents, Raymond and Leesa Philippon, planned to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. Raymond Philippon said Monday that all the family knew was that Larry Philippon was killed by small arms fire. . They spent several hours sifting through Internet reports trying to find out more, he said. Eight American servicemen were killed in action over the weekend. "He is with God," Philippon said. The Department of Defense would not confirm Larry Philippon's death. A spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps said Monday there is a 24-hour waiting period for releasing the names of casualties. On May 1, in his last phone call home, Philippon told his family that he was going on a mission and they probably wouldn't hear from him for two weeks. "He was extremely tired. He told us he'd been sleeping on rooftops," Raymond Philippon said. Larry Philippon, a 2001 Conard High School graduate, had been in Iraq since February with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C. It was a new assignment for Philippon, who had been chosen while he was in basic training for the Marine Corps Color Guard at the Marine Barracks in Washington, a unit that performs for parades, ceremonies and official events. Philippon carried the Marine Corps flag at the state funeral for President Reagan last June. His family caught a glimpse of the 6-foot-4 Marine on television as he marched in the procession. But his father said his son's real desire was to serve in Iraq. "He'd been begging them for a while. Even though he enjoyed the color guard, he really wanted to be in Iraq. That is where it is all happening," Philippon said. Larry Philippon enlisted in the Marines in 2003. It was a decision the young man considered before he graduated, at one point talking it over with his varsity hockey coach, John Donohoe, who served in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Vietnam War. Donohoe said Monday that he shared his experiences, but Philippon never asked his opinion about what he should do. "It is a decision they have to make," said Donohoe, who is now retired. Making the decision was easier for Philippon, who came from a family with a long tradition in the armed forces. His mother grew up in an Army family, with both her sister and brother enlisting in the Air Force. His father served in the Army, and his father's two brothers served in the Air Force. Raymond Philippon said his son, a high school varsity hockey player and lacrosse player, wanted to be on the front line. "He felt the Marines was the only way to go," Philippon said. Once he arrived in Iraq, Larry Philippon regularly telephoned and e-mailed his parents, as well as his fiancee, Olivia Lawrence of Maryland. The couple planned to marry Dec. 30. But usually he couldn't tell them much about what was going on, Raymond Philippon said. The family didn't need him to tell them about the dramatic spike in insurgent violence that has killed nearly 300 people over the last 10 days. "We could tell it was getting very bad," Philippon said. Larry Philippon will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, his family said. Philippon said he has no doubt that his son did the right thing by enlisting, even though he paid the ultimate price. "He felt very strongly when we went into Iraq that it was the right thing to do," Philippon said. "We needed to be there. The Iraqis deserved the same rights and freedoms that we have."

Lance Cpl. Nicholas C. Kirven, USMC

The Department of Defense announced on May 11 the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas C. Kirven, 21, of Richmond, Va., was killed May 8 as a result of enemy action in Alishang, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.  He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.


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